Tahoe nonprofit gets boost from major ski resorts

Tahoe SAFE Alliance will be selling discounted lift tickets for three ski resorts as a fundraiser for its anti-abuse services.
Tahoe SAFE Alliance will be selling discounted lift tickets for three ski resorts as a fundraiser for its anti-abuse services. Northstar-at-Tahoe <137,2014/12/26,Russell/c DeWitt - Sacramento1>Resort<137>

Skiers can save money on lift tickets and help a good cause this winter thanks to a partnership between Tahoe SAFE Alliance and three of the region’s biggest mountain resorts.

The alliance serves as a support network for victims of domestic abuse and other forms of violence in the North Tahoe/Truckee area, and also works to prevent abuse and violence in schools and communities. Their services include legal consultations, safe housing, peer support groups, counseling and education.

This season SAFE (Stopping Abuse for Everyone) Alliance will continue an annual tradition of selling discounted tickets to Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar California and Kirkwood Mountain Resort at $70, a cheaper alternative to standard adult lift tickets, which are typically priced in the $90 to $120 range.

Vail Resorts Inc., the company that oversees the three local resorts as well as destinations in other states, gave the nonprofit a bundle of 300 tickets in the weeks before Christmas. SAFE sells the tickets at a discount on its website, and then mails the lift passes to customers within 48 hours of purchase. The nonprofit dedicates 100 percent of the proceeds to its initiatives, said Dawn Harris, development manager.

The $21,000 that the ticket sales bring in will help the Incline Village-based group continue providing for communities in three counties throughout California and Nevada. The nonprofit runs the only safe house in North Tahoe and Truckee specifically designed to help victims of violence rebuild their lives, according to its website. It also runs a 24-hour crisis line and provides resources for victims of stalking, bullying and human trafficking.

According to the parameters of a Vail grant that the alliance applied for and received earlier this year, the money will be used for programs targeted at children and teens, such as violence prevention, youth empowerment, public safety training and dating violence information.

“It makes a big impact,” Harris said. “We’re largely funded by federal grants, but that’s only 70 percent. By having the support of someone like Vail and Northstar, that just means less fundraising we have to do, which allows us to focus on our work.”

For the ski resorts, the partnership is a small piece of a wider philanthropic initiative called “Epic Promise,” which launched Sept. 20. On that day, thousands of Vail employees and guests gathered to complete 13 service initiatives across the U.S. and Jamaica to benefit the environment and their communities.

Rachael Woods, spokeswoman for Northstar, said community service is important to resort staff, and that the discount will allow even more visitors to enjoy this month’s good conditions. Tahoe SAFE Alliance is a group they are particularly happy to assist, she said.

“It’s an incredible service to our community,” Woods said. “And because of the work they do, our community is safer. It’s more secure. It’s a phenomenal resource to our residents.”

Call The Bee’s Sammy Caiola, (916) 321-1636.